The Research Impacts Project

When research connects directly to communities, practitioners, or other decision makers, it is much more likely to be used to increase understanding of issues, inform policy and practice, and solve problems. These beneficial uses of research outside of academia are called the societal impacts of research. Generating these impacts improves trust between universities and the public, improves the quality of research, and contributes to our communities and environments.

The Research Impacts Project, funded by the Provost’s Investment Fund, aims to helps UArizona researchers, administrators, and leaders collect, document, and communicate the societal impacts of their research to community partners, funders, and others interested in the work we do.

The Research Impacts Project is seeking input from researchers across campus about categories of impact, methods for documenting impact, and how researchers would like to be able to use societal impacts information. How do you like to describe the impact of your work to colleagues, funders, and community members?

For more information about the RI Project, please contact:

Alison M. Meadow
Associate Research Professor - Office of Societal Impact

Research Impact Project Activities

Impact Evaluation Workshops

We hope to work with colleges and departments across campus to introduce the principles of research impacts evaluation, share some existing frameworks to support impacts evaluation, and get feedback and suggestions for developing a UA-specific framework that captures the impactful work happening here.

If your department, college, or other group of researchers (faculty and staff) would like to participate in a workshop, please contact Alison Meadow ( or

Impact Case Studies

The Research Impacts Project has been working with researchers across campus to collect examples of their impactful research projects. We work with each researcher (or team) to describe the project and document its impacts. The final narratives can be used as part of project reports, funding proposals, or to share with colleagues and research partners.

Read case studies below.

Research Impacts Case Studies

Chelsea Farrar (UAZ Museum of Art) and Dr. Russ Toomey come together with LGBTQ organizations to provide youth with the opportunity to use art as a way to open up spaces of belonging and inclusion, while improving mental health.


Through a collaboration with a non-fiction writer and a documentary filmmaker, and under the direction of Rarámuri leader Amalia Holguin, Dr. Nicole Antebi navigates the challenges of transnational and transcultural community-engaged research.


Dr. Beth Meyerson and collaborators use participatory and community-based research to understand patient and provider experiences of regulatory shifts in accessing medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) during the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide opportunities for those involved to build capacities that serve them and their organizations.


Dr. Meg Jackson Fox (Center for Creative Photography) and Peter Brewer (Laboratory of Tree Ring Research) demonstrate the power of interdisciplinary collaborations to build knowledge and engage community.


Dr. Michael Johnson mobilizes people across the world to build a program the increases minoritized student access to undergraduate research experiences by going virtual.


Research Impacts Resources

Planning and Evaluating the Societal Impacts of Climate Change Research Projects

UArizona researchers Alison M. Meadow and Gigi Owen developed a guidebook to help researchers and research teams plan for impact and evaluate the impacts generated by their projects. Although focused on climate and environmental research projects, the guidance can be adapted to a number of research topics.

Planning and Evaluating the Societal Impacts of Climate Change Research Projects: A guidebook for natural and physical scientists looking to make a difference.

UK Research and Innovation: Defining Impacts

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) of the United Kingdom defines research impact as the demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy. Here ESRC provides a summary of definitions of impact and an explanation of key factors that support research impact.

University College Dublin: Impact Toolkit

University College Dublin has compiled a set of resources and tools to help you plan, capture, communicate and monitor the impact of your research.

UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science is the first international standard setting instrument on open science. Open science is a set of principles and practices that aim to make scientific research from all fields accessible to everyone for the benefits of scientists and society as a whole. Open science is about making sure not only that scientific knowledge is accessible but also that the production of that knowledge itself is inclusive, equitable and sustainable.

Read more about the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

Beyond the Academy Network

The primary goal of the Beyond the Academy Network is to grow a network of sustainability researchers motivated to reforming academic institutions to make it easier to do interdisciplinary research with real-world impact.

In 2022, Beyond the Academy published the Guidebook for the Engaged University. Authored by our network of leading engaged scholars, the Guidebook is a collection of research, recommendations and case studies designed to advance an engaged approach to post-secondary education. Explore the Guidebook.

Impact CVs

Interested in writing a CV that reflects the impact of your research? Here are some resources that provide guidance on how to capture impact in a CV format.

Time to rethink the scientific CV

Ten ways to improve academic CVs for fairer research assessment

Why I wrote an impact CV